Congregation Ner Tamid
The month following the month of Tishre is often called Mar Cheshvan, or bitter Cheshvan. As I have previously discussed, this month is a barren month of no holidays, but it is destined to be the month in which the messianic age comes, as the Mashiach Ben David is said to become known during this month, according the beautiful Midrash of Bnei Yissaschar, “the Mashiach will come during the month of Cheshvan and will remove all the bitterness it is said to contain.” May we be blessed to experience this splendor this month, but if not now, in our lifetime!
After the month of Elul when we took the entire month to look at the past year and make plans to make amends, prepare for the high holydays, and then the month of Tishre when we bring our families together for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, and Simchat Torah, we are exhausted!!! It’s a lot of work, cleaning cooking, preparing, praying, OyVey!!!
So, Cheshvan could be looked at as a month in which we take a much-needed rest, we can focus on the small things, lead a simple life, enjoy the fruits of our labor, enjoy the peace and quiet. This is also a time in which we can focus on understanding the impact of the small stuff. The peace of coming to shul and following the routine, meeting and speaking with friends, sitting outside and enjoying the fall weather, and the colors of the trees reminiscent of the colors of the rainbow of the covenant after the flood. Have time to focus on work or hobbies put aside for a time, cleaning out the closest and preparing to “hibernate” for the winter. But all in all, it is a time to enjoy the small stuff.
As the parshat Noach says “world was filled with chamas (evil – robbery) so HaShem brought the flood, but after the flood, HaShem made a promise to never destroy the earth.” While he may test us with the boredom of the emptiness of the month we should still be happy for we are alive and able to learn and come closer to the time when the month will be filled with the joy of peace.
May the Mashiach come this month and if not, in our lifetime.
Congregation Ner Tamid, 1705 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Copyright 2002-2016. Congregation Ner Tamid.
A Conservative-Egalitarian Synagogue
From The Desk Of Rabbi Joseph M. Domosh